Liberalism & Conservatism

This category contains 20 posts

A Response To “Why are there so few non-liberals in social psychology? A closer look”

This month’s blog updates email from Heterodox Academy features an essay entitled Why are there so few non-liberals in social psychology? A closer look, by Bo Bennett. I believe the essay to be fatally flawed. The farther into it I read the more my blood boiled.  Let me explain. The first step in writing an essay like … Continue reading

The Hole in Moral Foundations Theory and a Speculation On How To Fix It

Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) does not explain everything it purports to explain, i.e., the workings of our righteous minds.  I suggest that in order to be a complete theory it must. In this essay I describe what I think MFT does not explain, and I speculate on what’s missing from it such that it might. The … Continue reading

Liberalism Is Anti-Science Magical Thinking

See the discussion of how Obama’s “Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action” in the article Blinded by Banalities by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review online. I believe that the thought process Obama demonstrates is characteristic of the three-foundation brain type.   It is dangerously disconnected from the realities of human nature and it … Continue reading

“The Righteous Mind” Critiqued in Three Pictures

Some of Haidt’s Metaphors Contradict His Findings

[Note:This post was edited on 3/30/13 to include the sentence in bold font.] This post is critical of select portions of Jonathan Haidt’s work so I want to make it clear at the outset that I think his approach, research, findings, and interpretations of those findings in the academic sense are right on the money.  … Continue reading


Scott Wagner is a liberal blogger whom I hold in high esteem. He writes about how liberals might do a better job in their efforts to Reach the Right. Scott often relies on the work of Jonathan Haidt. He and Haidt epitomize the liberal ideal of openness to new ideas. They have the ability to … Continue reading

The Elephant in the Room

I think The Asteroids Club, and more broadly Haidt’s Yin/Yang metaphor of the relationship between liberalism and conservatism scrupulously, though possibly not intentionally, avoid discussing the elephant in the room and strongly steer discussions toward liberal thought patterns and conclusions. I made a suggestion on the Club’s web site for some reading materials about the Asteroid of Entitlement Spending.  … Continue reading

How To Better Articulate Conservatism (and Liberalism too)

As he began his tenure as president of The Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint said that “Conservatives need to better articulate their message if they are to prevail in the war of ideas.”  (1) In The Washington Post he wrote, “Conservative policies have proved their worth time and time again. If we’re not communicating in a … Continue reading

Haidt’s Mixed Message: The Strength of “The Righteous Mind” is Also Its Weakness

In spite of the great insights that are offered by Jonathan Haidt in his book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion and by his team of researchers at YourMorals.org there’s still a tendency for them to think like liberals, which means that they sometimes fail, in my opinion, to … Continue reading

Yes, I Am “Judgmental”: An Overview of the Position of The Independent Whig

JSWagner, a reader of this blog, made a fair and well reasoned comment to the post in which I observed that Opennes Is Not A Moral Foundation. He said that I can be judgmental, and that there’s sometimes a negative tone to my writing about ideas I don’t agree with.  He said that I “castigated” … Continue reading

I Support Viewpoint Diversity


A politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars who want to improve our academic disciplines and universities. We share a concern about a growing problem: the loss or lack of “viewpoint diversity.” When nearly everyone in a field shares the same political orientation, certain ideas become orthodoxy, dissent is discouraged, and errors can go unchallenged.

An Interpretation of Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory

This sidebar lists a series of posts which together make up an essay relating Moral Foundations Theory to today's politics, and even a little history, as viewed through The Independent Whig's six-foundation moral lens.


Venn Diagram of Liberal and Conservative Traits and Moral Foundations and